Yesterday marked the three-month anniversary of the "re-launch" of Gobbler Country. Though the site was in more than capable hands with Chris Hatcher (Chicago Maroon) and the previous staff, it needed more day-to-day attention than those fine gentlemen could provide. As the only remaining writer, I felt the opportunity was ripe to try my hand at something new, and offered my services to SBNation, hoping to carry the torch and at least be a place-holder until the cavalry could arrive. Really, I just wanted to continue to write about VT basketball and not have to answer to a different "boss" than Chris. #seflishreasons
I was forewarned that this would be a very time-consuming passion project. That it would wear me out. That it would be a second full-time job. I said, "Sounds great, you sure you don't want me to pay YOU too?! Maybe the rights to my next-born?" As I contemplated next moves as an Army of One, I set forth in the Twitter-verse to find "the cavalry". And find them I did. All of these gifted writers you've come to know, that provide you with commentary on the latest Hokie sports news do it at the greatest of personal expense: their own precious time, which can never be recouped.
The time and effort these folks put in to what amounts to a hobby, or at best for some of us, an unpaid internship, is nothing short of commendable. They have been the absolute best-case scenario for me as a fledgling editor trying to acclimate on the fly at breakneck speed. The cool thing about the SBNation platform is that we are truly able to move to our own rhythms. The freedom they afford us here to make mistakes and learn from them is proving invaluable. We hope that by the time football season arrives that we'll be doing 10x better for you readers. #moneytime #busyseason
Which brings us to you readers. I am not exaggerating when I say that February (with National Signing Day) and March were record-setting months for the site, with traffic up some 400% over previous years, no joke. The love you show for our work on social media indicates that a lot of you like what you're seeing from the site, and we'd endeavor to do more of what you like IF YOU'D JUST USE YOUR LOG-INs AND COMMENT FROM TIME TO TIME! We crave the conversation here at GC, and really generating conversation is the only aspect that I'd consider grading an N for Needs Improvement at this point. One brick at a time, though, however it comes.
The readers are our lifeblood, and the numbers indicate that you are helping us validate ourselves, and quickly at that. Your passion for your Hokies is evident, your suffering is omnipresent. And while the competition for page-views drives internet journalism, I find it of paramount importance that we participate as part of the Hokie Blog community. We support, and enjoy reading ALL of our "competitors". We love TSL, The Key Play, TechHoops and all of the major print publications and what they bring respectively. We hope that we can be mentioned in the same breath as those folks moving forward.
We will never be first out of the box with the breaking news. That is not our mission here. What we attempt to do, and do well, is lend texture and context to the news you are receiving. We hope to present features that reflect on the proud history of Virginia Tech sports, along with the dubious aspects if called for, because fair is fair. We've made a conscious effort to cover not just the revenue-bearing sports (Football and Basketball), but all of the excellence that is occurring in the Hokie sports world. Of course, I'd love some more writers so that we could do more, but we spread ourselves as thin as we can to make sure we are as complete a site as we can be.
So I'd like to issue a simple thank you to everyone who has made these first three months an incredible experience. We hope to do better in the next three months. It's truly been a pleasure so far.
Which brings me to the fun stuff!
SPRING GAME TAILGATE!!!!!!
Date: Saturday, April 26th
Time: Beginning at 10:30 AM, game begins at 2PM
Location: The parking lot behind Litton Reaves Hall on West Campus Drive, more specifically along the back hill towards the cage
Other Markers: Black Chevy Silverado Truck Flying This Banner
We plan on having some food and beverages for the folks who turn up to meet us. Of course, there will be a finite amount, so if you want to stay awhile please feel free to add to the mix with your own offerings.
For entertainment there will also be cornhole boards set up. Please bring your A games.
There will be beverages of all kinds being imbibed, so I'll go ahead and get this out of the way:
SBNation and Gobbler Country do not support or condone underage drinking under any circumstances.
With that said, I extend an invite to all of you to stop through, meet some of our writers, and tell me what I'm doing wrong and how I can fix it. As Hokies, I expect nothing less. Then we can all wander over to Lane for Christmas in April, aka the Spring Game.
I will provide updates if necessary as we approach the 26th. As of right now, the forecast calls for warm weather, but showers. If we wake up and it's a downpour, the tailgate will be canceled. I will make sure to make that known on Twitter early that morning for any diehards who are still going to brave the elements. Hopefully, the day is as sunny as my disposition (which we'll call partly cloudy and leave it at that).
If you have any questions or suggestions about anything EVER, please feel free to contact us here: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Chuck Workman (Flyers13)
Managing Editor, Gobbler Country
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